Shortly before the girlfriend and I left for our Helsinki holiday I was surprised to see our chosen hotel slip out of the number one spot on TripAdvisor. It has since regained its rightful place at the top of the list; hopefully this review will in some small way help it stay there.
Hotel Fabian may be a short cab ride from the train station, but once you’re checked in it’s more than likely that the only other taxi you’ll need is back to the station to catch the train onward to the airport. Why? Because (1) public transportation in Helsinki is fantastic, and (2) Hotel Fabian is in a similarly fantastic location—just a few blocks away from the Esplanadi, Waterfront Market and Old Market Hall. The ferry to Suomenlinna Island is about the same distance, as are the overnight cruise ships to Stockholm and St. Petersburg.
Once we got our bags through the unassuming entrance we were able to check in immediately. I had secured a cheaper-than-listed rate through Hotels.com, but we were treated with the same excellent service as any other guest—the only exception being that we couldn’t also claim airline miles for our stay. Fair enough.
We had booked a LUX room which ended up being more like a large studio apartment. Ours was at the end of the 3rd floor with an extra secure door separating it from the other rooms. The quiet made for an exceptionally good night’s rest.
Nespresso coffee machines have become a familiar site during our travels, but the one in our apartment—I mean, room—was an industrial-strength model, the same as what you’d find in a restaurant. We didn’t really get a chance to put this beast through its paces, because our rate included breakfast downstairs.
When we went down to eat the next morning the quiet lobby was transformed—the small breakfast buffet was packed, both with other guests and delicious food. Any disappointment I might have felt at the lack of of American-style omelette station or waffle maker was fleeting—fresh fish, meats and fruit along with local breads and hearty porridge more than made up for it.
The breakfast room is tight, though, which is why you may want to check out the adjoining room with additional seating. There are also some tables set up in the quiet courtyard, but for our October visit it was a bit too chilly to sit outside.
Just down the street is a local pub that also serves breakfast, and there are lots of other options for food in the neighbourhood. You could even pick up something at the Old Market Hall and bring it back to your room!
It wasn’t hard to spot other hotels as we walked around downtown Helsinki, but we’ve zero regrets in choosing Hotel Fabian. Just choose your breakfast time wisely. 😉